- This article was first published on November 25, 2014.
So it’s crazy that I’m doing a non-Thanksgiving recipe this week when everyone is thinking about the big meal. But Thanksgiving dinner is just one meal, right? And what do you do for the other 20 meals this week? Eat other stuff, of course. (Unless you eat a lot of leftovers. I tend to end up with not much more than one meal’s worth of leftovers. We don’t even have that many plastic containers!!)
So back to this bowl of spicy savory goodness, which also counts as comfort food. I grew up eating a lot of instant ramen noodle soup (hey, don’t judge! My mom was awesome). Of course, because we’re Korean, we had the more spicy kind and not the salt or miso-based Japanese kind. This noodle soup, for those of us who had a chance to eat it before becoming vegan, is super addicting. I figured out a way to make it completely vegan, natural, and soo much better than the packaged kind, using sea kelp, shiitake mushrooms, and Korean red pepper flakes as the base. Even if you’ve never had Korean ramen before, try making this soup base–you’ll be amazed at the depth of umami flavor you can achieve with simple kelp and shiitake broth. I used fresh ramen noodles that we found at the refrigerated section at Whole Foods and discarded the soup packet that comes with it. If you can’t find fresh noodles, feel free to use the dry noodles.
Vegan Korean Ramen
1 package (4 oz) fresh ramen noodles (found in the refrigerated section)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp gochugaru (3/4 tsp if you want spicier soup)
4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 oz dried kelp
4.5 cups water
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small carrot, chopped into 1/4″ pieces
4-5 white button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp white miso
1/2 tsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1-2 scallions, chopped, plus more for garnish
1. In a medium bowl, soak the shiitake and dried kelp in about 1 cup of water until completely reconstituted. Then, slice the shiitake mushrooms and put them back in the bowl.
2. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add gochugaru and toss for about 20 seconds until fragrant, being careful not to burn and blacken the pepper flakes (this happens quickly).
3. Add shiitake and kelp (including the soaking water) to the pot, then garlic, mushrooms, and carrots. Add 4.5 cups water, cover and bring to boil.
4. Add miso, salt, nutritional yeast, and gochujang and lower heat to simmer for about 4-5 minutes.
5. Add ramen noodles and scallions, and bring heat back up to medium. Boil for about 2 minutes until the noodles are al dente. Quickly take off the heat. Adjust seasoning as needed, garnish with more scallions and serve.
More Vegan Korean recipes: Vegan Korean Fried Chicken (Sweet and Spicy)
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling